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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Questions Answered: Grain FREE Almond Flour Tortillas

It's been a couple of months since Nora wrote in with a request, and I apologize for the delay, Nora!  We've had a busy summer, and fall is seeming to be no different.  But, I wanted to get you this recipe while I have a moment tonight!

Nora wrote in:  Looking for grain free tortillas as a quick dinner option for my family.  I've made tortillas in the past, but always with grain.  Ever done a grain-free tortilla?
Since Nora sent in her request, I've been searching and experimenting.  I started with browsing Google.  Most "natural" recipes you'll find recommend using corn flour or other flours that will turn to sugar quickly inside of you.  But I did get some ideas on how to actually make tortillas, since I'd never attempted in the past, so it was a good use of my time!

Then I started to experiment.  Let me say that coconut flour does not make the best tortillas.  They were more like crepes and fell apart easily.  I tried around 4 or 5 batches of various flours/mixes and came down to this recipe which has turned out great three times in a row!  So here it is for you, Nora!  I hope this helps your family out.  Dave and I have enjoyed the sampling of different tortillas and this recipe is a keeper!



Grain-free Almond Flour Homemade Tortillas (gluten free, grain free, yeast free)
Makes 8 Tortillas

1 Tbsp finely ground flax seeds
3 Tbsp boiling water
3 cups almond flour (it's more affordable to make your own by grinding whole almonds into a powder in your food processor or Vitamix)
1 tsp sea salt
1 free-range egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp honey (sorry Advanced Planners... it really needs the little bit of honey to bind)

1.)  In a small bowl, let flax sit in boiling water for about 5 minutes.

2.) In a separate medium bowl, mix together the almond flour and sea salt with a fork.  Add the egg, flax mixture and honey, one at a time, to the almond flour.  Stir until it forms a firm dough that isn’t too sticky to handle.  If it is too sticky, add more almond flour until you can easily roll it into a ball.

3.)  Cut the ball in into quarters.  Cut each of the 4 pieces in half making 8 pieces total.

4.)  (I lack a tortilla press.  If you're in the same boat, follow these steps..)  Place a strip of all natural waxed paper on your counter.  One at a time, take a piece of dough and roll it into a ball with your hands.  Place the piece of dough in the center of the waxed paper.  Place another strip of waxed paper over the dough ball.  Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough until it is as thin as you can get it without it falling apart.

(Don’t go for perfect!  These are not going to be completely round tortillas like you find in the store.  Each one of these tortillas will be unique because, hey, they're natural!  They will have jagged edges and some little holes here and there, but that’s okay!  Be proud that you made them from scratch without the nasty preservatives.  :)

5.)  Oil a cast iron skillet with coconut oil and heat skillet to Medium heat.  Be sure to give the pan plenty of time to heat before adding your first tortilla, a good 8 minutes is sometimes needed for the best cast iron pans.  As you get into making tortilla #2-3, you may find they are browning more quickly.  Go ahead and lower the temperature to Medium-Low to prevent burning.

6.)  Remove the waxed paper from the tortilla.  Just like moving pie crust, gently put your non-dominant hand underneath the waxed paper under the tortilla.  Flip the tortilla onto your dominant hand while you peel away the waxed paper.  Then gently place it into the skillet.  If there are folds, try to even them out, or just mush them down with a spatula.  Cook for about 1 minute on each side, or until golden brown.  The edges will brown and the middle will start to bubble.

7.)  Flip and cook on the other side for another minute or less.  Cook each tortilla one at a time.  Add more coconut oil as the skillet becomes dry.  As the tortillas cook, stack them up on a plate and cover until you’re ready to use them, to keep them warm.  You can make ahead and freeze the tortillas once cooled or just keep them in the fridge in a glass container for a few days.

35 comments:

Anonymous

I am trying to stick to the Advanced eating plan but REALLY missed a wrap. This recipe sounded perfect but I had to find a substitute for honey. I boiled white balsamic vinegar and it turns into the stickiest goo you have ever seen. Thinking I have found a way to make your wraps, I am afraid not! They are tasty with the vinegar and I am using them as crackers for my hummus but a wrap still eludes me!

Healing Cuisine by Elise

Wow, vinegar?? How did you think of that?! I've never heard of such a thing, hmm! What would you use the vinegar goo for otherwise? Sounds interesting!

Yes, I'm sorry but it really does need that honey for binding.. I haven't tried this, but maybe you could boil down some Granny Smith apples into a syrup? Not sure how well that would go over tho since such little sugar content.

Have you tried using grape leaves for your wraps? You might like 'em! Some people think they taste like wheat! (I think they taste more like kale/grass, but a good taste none the less!) :)

Melanie

I followed the recipe exactly and my tortillas fell apart when I tried to flip them over in my cast iron skillet. Also, they made tasty 'pita chips'! ;o) My daughter absolutely refuses to eat any "dough" etc. that is made with almond flour. Is it possible to do garbanzo bean flour instead and get the tortilla taste?

Healing Cuisine by Elise

Hi Melanie! Sorry for the poor results. Not sure what went wrong, but definitely like the pita chips idea. ;) I've not tried myself, but I'm sure garbanzo bean flour would work. It should be virtually tasteless. Give it a go, and if you get a recipe that works well please email it to me and I'll share as a guest post by you!

Natalie

I am so excited to find these!! I was grain-free for months, and then went off and am trying to come back - tortillas are one of the main things that makes it hard for me to do without grains. Thank you for the recipe!

Healing Cuisine by Elise

Great Natalie! Glad to have you back on the bandwagon! If you haven't picked it up yet, I highly recommend getting a copy of the Maximized Living Nutrition Plans book from your Maximized Living doctor. It will provide all the guidance you need that my recipes go on to support.

Anonymous

Great recipe, thanks. It was really hard to make it flat though. Mine were pretty small because they kept ripping. I am on the paleo diet, so these are great for me! :)

Ashley

i'm excited to try these later! :)

Anonymous

My tortillas fell apart. Your 'dough' looks smooth, mine was on the crumbly side. I used Honeyville Almond Flour should I have used something different? I ground the brown flax seed in a coffee grinder, added the hot water. After 5 it was still slightly watery - should I have let it sit a little longer until it was thick? Your feedback would be helpful before I attempt round two. thanks!

Healing Cuisine by Elise

Hi there, Honeyville almond flour should have been just fine -- make sure it was their fine ground option. If it was more of an almond meal type texture, that could be the culprit of a crumbly dough. It's hard to tell without being able to see the consistency of your flax/water mixture if it was gelled up enough. Next time you can also try adding in a little extra water, maybe a Tbsp at a time, until the dough holds up. It should come together in a nice ball and be fairly hands friendly. Let me know if you have the same issues round two and we'll try to work on it!

Fonda LaShay

mine turned out as a crumble too.. i made sure to get the flax mix extra gooey.. added a tiny pinch extra flax. My almond flour was very fine too.

it would not roll out, so I placed it on the skillet and flattened it there with the hopes to flip it. I'm abit bummed because I thought this was finally a solution. However on the up side the crumble taste very good.. will have to use it in a parfiat or pudding ect!

Cindy

Are these a crispy tortilla? I'm looking for a soft tortilla that I can use for burritos and soft tacos. I have to go low carb and gluten free, and it's a challenge trying to find substitutes for the things that you loved.

Healing Cuisine by Elise

Hi Fonda, Sorry about the crumbling problems. I recommend adding a little more water to the mix at 1Tbsp at a time until you reach a more doughy consistency. Also, you can place the tortilla dough balls in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up before pressing out. Next time try using a flat board or plate bottom to flatten out the tortilla balls rather than a rolling pin. You may have better luck that way.


Hi Cindy, This recipe makes soft tortilla shells, exactly what you are looking for. :)

Anonymous

But isn't flax seed considered a grain? It seems to be not permitted on the grain-free specific carbohydrate diet.

Healing Cuisine by Elise

Hi there, Flax seeds are considered seeds, not grains, so they are Advanced Plan approved. High in fiber and healthy fat!

karisafi

What about using malitol syrup instead of honey?

The Urban Poser

Flas isn't allowed on SCD becuase they are a mucilaginous (polysaccharide complex)/ This can be a problem for SCD people.

Healing Cuisine by Elise

Hi The Urban Poser,

Great point about flax seeds and SCD. As long as you are grinding the flax seeds finely, you should have no issues consuming and having them get stuck in the intestine. The risk of that happening is when you consume whole flax or chia seeds. In fact the added fiber of ground flax should help with issues someone with IBS/Crohn's/IBD/etc suffers from.

The Advanced Plan is definitely the way to go to reduce inflammation. Also, talk to your Maximized Living doctor and make sure the nerves going to your gut and colon are healing and working properly. And finally, you may want to look into doing a gut cleanse. I did it myself to combat my celiac disease and became certified in whole food detoxification as a result of my life being positively changed. Feel free to email me if you need help: elise@healingcuisinebyelise.com

Healing Cuisine by Elise

Hi karisafi,

You can use malitol syrup if you wish. It won't taste quite as sweet as honey, but it's really just added to bind the dough together that little bit.

Anonymous

I tried these too. Taste was great! I didn't notice to ground the flax though. I think that was the problem. I got a crunchy crumbly chip like result. How thin do you roll them out?

Healing Cuisine by Elise

Hi there! Glad the taste was good, but sorry they turned out like chips for you. I'm not sure the issue for those who have written with the crunchy tip texture?? Perhaps using too much oil in the skillet? You don't want so much oil in the skillet that it fries the tortilla -- this will create the crunchy texture. It's just enough oil to soak into the cast iron skillet to make non-stick, and then the rest is like cooking a crepe or pancake. And just 1 minute on each side, or else it'll cook too long and dry out on you (won't be wrap-able). You can also try adding a little more water or flax-water mixture to the dough if you feel it's too dry/crumbly in the rolling-out stage.

Jane

I'm going to give these a try as well! I have tried multiple grain free tortillas and never had any luck with them sticking together! Thanks for sharing!

Healing Cuisine by Elise

I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do, Jane!

Kristine

Worst recipe ever. I am a very good baker/cook in the kitchen and this recipe simply did not work. The tortillas fall apart and are not pliable at all.

Healing Cuisine by Elise

Hi Kristine, Sorry to hear you had a bad experience with the tortilla recipe. When cooking with natural ingredients, there's always a little give in the recipe ratios with each batch to get it to turn out. A lot of things can cause differences in why a recipe changes in ratios/texture/cook time/etc (humidity, freshness of ingredients, temperature, soak time, overwork/underworked dough, chemicals, etc....). If you run in to the same problem next time, try adding a bit more water, honey, or flax seed gel. (You can also sub out the flax gel for chia seed gel or eggs.) You want to get the dough to a nice pliable texture so the dough balls do not fall apart. Keep adding moisture splash by splash until it works in to the perfect texture. Better luck with round two! :)

Anonymous

Are the flax seeds necessary for the tortillas or is there something I can substitute? Thanks for the recipe!

Healing Cuisine by Elise

You can replace with the same amount of gelled chia seeds or 1 beaten egg.

Sarah

Is there something I could sub in for the egg? We're gluten, dairy, and egg free here, but I really want some tortillas.

Healing Cuisine by Elise

Hi Sarah, You can try subbing 1/4 cup of chia seed gel and 1/2 tsp baking soda. I haven't tried it myself, but it might work. Good luck! It also may need a few Tbsp of arrowroot powder to hold everything together as it fries up. Sorry, I haven't dabbled in an egg-free version yet. Let me know what you find to work for you!

Margaret Huffer

For those of you whose tortillas fall apart, I use gluten-free flours on a regular basis and almond flour/meal is one of them. They all need xanthan gum or guar gum for binding...about a tsp to a cup of flour. Here's my almond meal tortilla recipe. Hope it works for you:
2 cups almond flour/meal (I grind my own from raw, unblanched almonds)
1 Tbsp xanthan gum
1/2 cup grated parmesan-romano cheese mix
4 Tbsp flaxseed meal
Add enough water (or almond milk) to form a soft dough.
Place a ball of dough between 2 ziploc bags and press flat with a plate (I use clear pyrex pie plate so I can see through it). Be sure to spray a mist of PAM or other spray on the ziploc bags so they don't stick when you peel them off. Throw on griddle and brown both sides. No need to worry about cooking thoroughly because there's nothing raw except the almonds themselves. Makes 18 (3-inch). 1 tortilla: 3.9g Protein; <1g Carbs; 7.3g Fat(the good kind); 1.8g Fiber ENJOY!!

Anonymous

I tried this receipt this weekend and although they came out like pits chips my husband put them in the Chicken & Dumpling soup (thank you Elice!) and loved it! Then for movie night I used them in the nacho plate I threw together (Onions/bell peppers/black olives/hoop cheese). Who would think we are dieting! ~;->

Healing Cuisine by Elise

Sounds really yummy!!

Ellie Raduns

I am going to give these a go. I am curious if you have used gelatin before in place of the flax seed to get it to bind up? I have pure fish gelatin, and was thinking of substituting it. Any thoughts?

I also wanted to reply about the balsamic vinegar turning into a goo. most balsamic vinegars have sugar added to the fermenting process so the end result is a much higher than normal sugar content, which is why the goo would present. We are a GAPS family, and this is the reason it isn't allowed on GAPS. :)

Healing Cuisine by Elise

Hi Ellie,

I haven't used gelatin before, but it's certainly worth the try. I recommend grass fed beef gelatin personally. It's hard to guarantee the purity of a fish gelatin.

Thanks for the input on the balsamic. I had a moment of "what is she talking about" but figured it out quickly. ;)

Beth Stice

Just made ese and I'm impressed! The taste and texture are amazing! Great job!

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